“Aquatilis” is a unique expedition to begin in the fall of 2015. Its main goal is the study of plankton, the most important element of the food chain and environmental well-being indicator of the planet.
Alexander Semenov is the author of the photos appearing in this post. Mr. Semenov’s jellyfish, nudibranchs, comb jellies and other underwater creatures were published in Nature, Science, National Geographic, BBC Knowledge, BBC Focus, CNN, Daily Mail, The Telegraph.
The team Aquatilis is a team of scientists, divers, photographers, cameramen and sailors. They are professionals — ambitious and terribly fond of his work. Having professional divers on the team means that they can explore planktonic organisms in their immediate environment. This is particularly important in the case of gelatinous plankton, some of its representatives so fragile that the first touch may be their last.
The young scientists plan to share with the world photographs and videos much in the same fashion Jacques-Yves Cousteau did when he “uncovered” and “shared” the ocean with the world. Since Cousteau, nobody attempted expedition of comparable scale, using the latest equipment and the power of media platforms and social networks. Ocean still remains largely unexplored.
“Also, we want to draw people’s attention to the problems of ocean pollution. We plan to visit the “garbage islands” of the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans. The size of these accumulations of floating debris and particulate plastics is huge, exceeding the area of some countries, such as Spain or Germany, for example. We want to show the extent of pollution and what happens to the animals in the sea of plastic…” (– A. Semenov)
“People around the world need to understand the consequences of one bottle thrown into the sea. If at least a few thousand people will think before throwing trash overboard or leaving it behind on the beach, it’ll be a small but significant step towards a clean ocean.” (– A. Semenov)
Aquatilis will use a system of ropes to dive at any point in the ocean or in the middle of the sea, where the depth of water beneath the submerged divers is hundreds, or even thousands of meters. It’s called Bluewater diving, the best and perhaps the only method of studying life full of gelatinous plankton organisms. Dodge sharks and you are in business.
“I just madly in love with the whole underwater world. And I’m terribly curious to see the sea creatures. For me it’s like real cosmos — Star Trek, Starcraft and Babylon 5 rolled into one.”(– A. Semenov)